What Is A Code 3 Vehicle

What is a Code 3 Vehicle in South Africa?

In South Africa, a Code 3 vehicle is one that has been classified as a salvage or written-off vehicle by insurance companies. This means that the vehicle has been in an accident or has sustained damage that makes it uneconomical to repair. These vehicles are then sold at salvage auctions to be rebuilt or used for spare parts.

Why are Code 3 Vehicles Popular?

Code 3 vehicles are popular in South Africa for several reasons. Firstly, they are often sold at a significantly lower price than their non-accident-damaged counterparts. This makes them an attractive option for buyers on a budget or for those looking to buy a project car to rebuild.

Additionally, code 3 vehicles can be a good source of spare parts for other vehicles. By purchasing a salvage vehicle, owners can save money on replacement parts and repairs for their own vehicles.

What Is A Code 3 Vehicle

What to Consider Before Buying a Code 3 Vehicle

While code 3 vehicles may offer a cost-effective option for buyers, there are some important factors to consider before making a purchase. Firstly, it is essential to thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any hidden damage or issues that may not be immediately apparent. This can help avoid unexpected expenses down the line.

Additionally, buyers should be aware that insurance companies may charge higher premiums for code 3 vehicles due to their history of being written off. This can affect the overall cost of ownership and should be factored into the decision-making process.

Rebuilding a Code 3 Vehicle

For those interested in rebuilding a code 3 vehicle, there are a few steps to consider. Firstly, it is important to obtain all the necessary documentation and permits to legally rebuild the vehicle. This may include obtaining a roadworthy certificate and passing inspections to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive.

Owners should also be prepared for the time and effort required to rebuild a salvage vehicle. This may involve sourcing parts, repairing damage, and ensuring the vehicle meets safety standards. However, for those with the skills and resources, rebuilding a code 3 vehicle can be a rewarding project.


Code 3 vehicles offer an affordable option for buyers in South Africa, whether looking for a budget-friendly vehicle or spare parts for repairs. However, it is important to carefully consider the risks and challenges associated with purchasing a salvage vehicle before making a decision. By conducting thorough inspections and being aware of potential issues, buyers can make an informed choice when it comes to code 3 vehicles.